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Archive for the ‘Free Hand Designs’ Category

When I was on a family visit to the Midwest earlier this year, I saw this Barn Quilt when my sister and I were on the Racine County, WI Barn Quilt Trail.

Click on any photo for a larger view

I LOVE this pattern and I re-created it into “real” quilts and then created an online class with my Flags & Stars quilt!

The quilt on the left is a Wall quilt, 39 x 57 inches and the other quilt is a Twin size, 72 x 90 inches.

I am proud to announce that the Flags & Stars Quilt Mystery Quilt-Along class is now OPEN for registration!!! For more information Click Here

How does a Mystery Quilt-Along work? You sign up for the class (there is a fee to attend the class) and you will receive the piecing instructions for the class project. Piece your quilt top and have it on your quilting machine, ready for quilting on Saturday, September 7, 2019. On September 7, about 8 am Pacific Time (possibly a little earlier) the first PART of the class video will be activated. You follow along with the quilting to learn how to quilt this quilt! During the day, about every two hours, another PART of the class will be activated. By the end of the day, ALL the class Parts will be activated and you will be able to see the completed quilt and all the quilting.

This is a FUN way to learn new quilting techniques and to finish a unique class project.

For more details on the Flags & Stars Mystery Quilt-Along Click Here

Register NOW and begin working on YOUR class project!

Each summer I plant Sunflowers in my small garden. I like to plant the GIANT sunflowers and this year, I also planted DWARF sunflowers. Unfortunately, I planted both of these sunflowers a little later and they are slightly behind in their growth.

My Grandaughter Maddie was over for a visit and I had her stand next to the sunflowers for comparison. Click on the photo for a larger view.

The dwarf sunflowers in the front are already blooming, and the giant sunflowers will grow up through the top of the arbor – the top of the arbor is about 7 feet above the ground – before they blossom!

Yes, there is an angel on Maddie’s shoulder! I have a metal garden sculpture angel in another small section of the garden and it is perfectly positioned! Maddie can be a bit of a “wild child”, as any almost five year old can be, and her guardian angel is on her shoulder a LOT!!!

I’ll post more photos of the sunflowers as they get taller and blossom!

 

 

 

 

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I can not tell you how much fun it was working on this quilt! This batik Log Cabin quilt was made by Karla S. and it was perfectly pieced!!! And, it was HUGE!!! 110 X 132 inches!! The blocks were 22 inches square! Did I mention (again) that this quilt was AH. MAZE. ING!!!!

Here is a photo of a small portion of it before it was quilted. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Here is the quilt on my quilting machine with a block partially quilted. I did a diagonal feather design so that the feathers framed the center block. I also changed the color of my thread for EACH section of the block!! That was a minimum of 4 different colors of thread in each block!

There was a light and a dark thread for the log cabin part of the block and then there were at least two color changes for the quilting in the block center! Yes, that was a lot of thread changes, but I feel it was worth it!

I used Madeira high sheen poly thread throughout the quilt. I love the look  of this thread and I used 9 different colors! Here are all the threads I used!

Here is a quilted block. The photo is in a “large format” and if you click on it, you can see all the detail of the quilting.

And finally, a view of only half the finished quilt. The quilt was so large that I had to fold it in half to get it onto the clothesline so I can take some photos!

I used Soft & Bright batting from the Warm Company. I love the little bit of loft in this batting which makes the feathers – and the other quilting – really stand out.

This quilt was an absolute JOY to work on. Thank you Karla for letting me quilt your AH. MAZE. ING quilt!

 

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My oh my! It has been a while since I have posted to my blog! I have been busy the last few months, I have been traveling, visiting family, designing quilts, making quilts and of course quilting quilts! (That is a lot of “Q” words!)

Here is my latest customer quilt. Karla did a wonderful job of piecing this Batik Log Cabin quilt. This quilt is HUGE! It is 110 x 132 inches and each block is 22 inches square!

It is so huge that I could only photograph half of the quilt as it is hanging on my backyard clothesline!

Click on any photo for a larger view

The colors of the fabrics are fabulous and I love the center of each block (which is 10 inches square!) I used NINE different colors of high sheen polyester thread. Yes, it does take time to change each color, but it is worth it!! Here are the threads!

Here is the quilting on the blocks –

The photo is in a large pixel format. Please enlarge the photo to see the quilting detail an the thread colors! I quilted feathers along the diagonal from the corners to the middle of the block, stopping the feathers at the edge of the center block. Where the colors of the fabric change in the corners, I changed the colors of the thread. I love the overall texture that the feathers give the quilt.

Then I quilted the centers individually, following the lines of the printed design in the center block and filled in around the center with echo quilting and ribbon stipple.

Here is a photo of another block, in a large pixel format. I hope you can see the detail of the quilting.

It is amazing how a simple Log Cabin quilt can be changed / adapted to become a fabulous quilt!

 

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Oh my goodness, it has been a (long) while since I have written on my blog! A lot has been happening and I finally have a few moments to write.

It was a busy late Summer, Fall and early Winter! Where does the time go??? I have been teaching, traveling, quilting, knitting, designing and in all of that, I had the floors replaced is 75% of my house!

Here is a quilting update –

Ric Rac Rabbit

My latest finished project is a quilt for a customer, who is going to be a first time Grandma. She is so excited!! Her daughter in law picked the fabric, my customer pieced it and I quilted it.

The fabric is from a line called Ric Rac Rabbit from Andover Fabrics. The quilt is 35 x 42 inches and it is way too cute!! I used Soft & Bright batting and Signature 100% cotton machine quilting threads for the quilting.

Click on any photo for a larger view

Here is a close up of the center of the quilt. In the background I used a grid design that is based on diagonal half square triangles quilted with wavy lines. ( I LOVE wavy lines!!) Around the rabbit I did echo quilting and then quilted some detail on the star.

Here is a photo of the back of the quilt where you can see most of the quilting detail.

Flower Basket Quilt

Every New Year’s Day for the last 11 years I have done a New Year’s Day Mystery Quilt event, and this New Year’s Day was the Flower Basket Quilt.

Here is what I started with – pieced baskets, lots of background fabric and lots of borders. I know, it’s going to take a LOT of quilting to make it look good!

When it was finished, it looked like this! What a transformation!!! There is a TON of texture in the background, lots of feathers in the borders and the flowers and basket handles are appliqued with the longarm!!!! 

You have got to click on the photo to see all the detail!

Here is a closer view of one of the baskets. Notice that the background quilting in this block is the same as the Ric Rac Rabbit quilt above!

And here is a closer view of the feather border, which is done free hand!! In fact, ALL the quilting on this quilt is done free hand!

The Flower Basket quilt is an online class and is open for registration. You can get more details by Clicking Here

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that 2019 will be a fabulous year for you and your family!

 

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It HAS been a while since I have posted quilt photos!!! Even though I haven’t posted many photos, I really HAVE been busy. As always, I am working on several project at one time (I must be the Queen of multi-tasking), and sometimes when multi-tasking it takes more time to get things done! If anyone know of how to get an extra hour or two out of a day, please let me know.

I recently finished this way too cute Snowman Quilt. It is 38 x 51 inches and it was very nicely pieced. There were a lot of small-ish pieces and the stars were done with the folded triangle technique.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

The batting is Warm & Natural and I used several high sheen polyester (HSP) threads. The background fabric is a tree print, and I think the trees are birch trees (I am not a tree expert. Let me know if they are different). The main color of the trees are gray, so I used a silver HSP thread and just “followed” the direction of the trees with wavy lines of quilting. You may be able to see the quilting lines if you expand the photo below.

In the snowmen I quilted spirals. The backing photo below shows more of the quilting.

I love when the quilting on the front of the quilt almost “disappears” but REALLY shows up on the back! Which is exactly what happened with this next quilt.

This quilt, Color Splash quilt, is huge at 101 x 101 inches!!! It is so big, that I could get only half of the quilt over my clothesline to get photos! The photo below is only about one fourth of the quilt! I’m not sure if you can see the quilting from the front of the quilt. I used silver HSP thread and quilted free hand feathers and swirls as an all over design in the body of the quilt.

In the outer border I quilted my “straight edge” feathers and the inner border has my “more bang for the buck” feather! You can see the quilting a bit better in the dark border. (For an online class on how to quilt these feathers Click Here)The batting is Warm & Natural.

But the back looks spectacular! The backing fabric is a dark,  black on black print, but in the photo it is showing up as gray. Trust me, it is DARK black fabric! And since I use the same thread on the top and the bobbin, the silver HSP thread really sparkles on the back of the quilt.

On the left edge and lower left corner, you can see the border feathers. ALL the feathers are done free hand – and I LOVE quilting free hand feathers!!!

I am planning on posting more quilt photos in the not too distant future.

 

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I have two quilts to show to you today. A Log Cabin Quilt and a Sampler Quilt and both of them are gorgeous!

Log Cabin Quilt

This Log Cabin Quilt, 82 x 101 inches,  was pieced by Chris W and she does an amazing job with her piecing! The colors are very calming and look great together.

Here is a full-ish view of the quilt

I quilted my curved feathers in the light fabrics and wavy lines in the darker fabric. I LOVE the texture that these quilting designs make when used togehter.  Make sure you click on the photo for a larger, more detailed view.

Here is a closer view of the quilting in the body of the quilt. I have quilted several Log Cabin quilts this way and I have details of the quilting in a blog post from a few years ago which you can read by Clicking Here

The batting is Soft & Bright poly batting from The Warm Company and the thread is a combination of Signature 100% cotton thread and Madeira high sheen poly thread.

In the border, which was wide (I love wide borders) I quilted my Feathered Baptist Fan pattern. The “half” feathered wreath is the middle of the border and the other feathered wreaths “meet” at the middle wreath. (I quilted the Feathered Baptist Fan border using the Longarm University Feather Guides. For info about them Click Here) Sounding like a broken record, I LOVE the texture in this border design! The first inner border has a “football feather” design.

Sampler Quilt

This quilt was pieced by Trish S and she did a wonderful piecing job and I love how all the different fabrics work togehter! This is a GREAT quilt.

When quilting a Sampler Quilt, I like to quilt something different in each block, depending on how the block is pieced. In this quilt I used a LOT of different thread colors and matched the thread color to the fabric color.

This Sampler Quilt is huge at 91 x 108 inches. There is a LOT of quilting in this quilt, but it was worth it!

Here is an almost full view of the quilt. I have it hanging outside on my clothesline – Click on any photo for a larger view

Here is some more of the quilt

I quilted a partial “football feather” in the outer border, continuous curves and spikes in the 9 patch and another football feather in the inner border.

Here is the corner of the outer border

The batting is Warm & Natural cotton batting. Here are some of the individual blocks and I hope you can see the quilting in them.

Please click on the photos to see the detail in the quilting.

Both of these quilts were FUN to work on. When I have great quilts to work with, the quilting is (almost) easy!

 

 

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Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and I will be at an all day meeting and I decided (yesterday) that I was going to make something for everyone at the meeting. Fortunately it isn’t a big meeting! I wanted something quick, relatively easy, of course quilted and usable. So I decided that I was going to make Mug Rugs or Coasters!

b-val-01aI took photos of the process to show you how I did it and I hope that you can use these instructions to make some Mug Rugs for yourself or for others. They make GREAT gifts and in an afternoon you can make a bunch of them and save them for future events and gifts.

The photo at the left shows both the circle and square Mug Rugs that I made.

Note: This is a photo intense post. The photos are shown in a small format. Please click on any photo for a larger view.

I started out with a half yard of backing fabric and a half yard of washed, white muslin and put them on the quilting machine with a thin-ish batting. The batting was a left over piece of (I think) Quilters Dream Poly.  I put the selvage edges of the fabrics to the leaders.


Square Mug Rugs

I b-val-01drew horizontal and vertical lines to make 4-1/2 inch squares along the top of my fabric. I used a Crayola Washable Marker  (CWM -my favorite marking tool) but later on realized I could have used a permanent marker. These markings are the cutting lines and will be cut apart or under the binding when the Mug Rug is finished. Note: My first square is only 4 inches wide. That’s all right, it will work out.


b-val-02Now take a marker (CWM) and draw lines 1/2 inch from the first drawn lines. These lines indicate where I want the edges of my feathers to be. If I take my feathers out to the “edges” of the square, they will be covered by the binding – which I don’t want.  After these lines are drawn, stitch a wavy line close to the first drawn lines. These wavy  lines of stitching will hold the layers togehter when the Mug Rugs are cut apart and you put the binding on. Notice that I stitched one line across the top of the blocks. Then I stitched another line starting at the top left, going down the left side, across the bottom , up along the drawn cutting line and then down again. This line of stitching starts at the left edge and goes all the way to the right edge!


b-val-03Divide these spaces in half both horizontally and vertically and mark the lines. If desired, use another color of marker. On the intersections of these lines, draw the heart shape as shown.

To make the heart shape, Click on the highlighted text for a pdf file of the mug-rug-shapes need for this project. Print out this page, trace the shapes onto piecing template plastic and cut out. Position the shape where indicate and draw around.


b-val-04Now you are ready for quilting the feathered heart!

Start at the bottom point of the heart and stitch along one side of the drawn heart shape and make a swirl at the top of the heart.  Come back to the bottom of the heart along the previous line of stitching. Don’t worry if you are not exactly on the first line of stitching. This is called a double spine line and, I feel, this is gives more “character” to your quilting. Do the same thing for the other half of the heart. See photo at the left.

 


b-val-05At the top of the heart and along the center line, stitch a loop up to the drawn line. From here, begin making feathers along one side of the heart down towards the bottom point of the heart. Keep the tops of your feathers even with the drawn lines of the square. Follow along the fist line of stitching and get back to the top of the heart.  See the photo at the left.  Your feathers don’t have to be “perfect.” Just do the best you can!

 

 


b-val-07Now begin making feathers on the other side of the heart until the outer area is filled with feathers! When you are at the bottom of the heart, make another “double swirl” heart in the bottom of the inside of the heart shape.

See the photo at the left of the completed feathered heart!

I want my quilting to show and I used a red variegated  cotton thread for the quilting.


b-val-09   b-val-09a

 

 

 

 

For those who are a little bold and daring, draw the center lines in the block on the diagonal and position the heart shape on the diagonal. Then quilt the feathered heart on the diagonal! This is the same design but it looks different!


Circle Mug Rugs

val-13Refer to the pdf file (above) and cut out the 4-1/2 and 3-1/2 diameter circles from piecing template plastic. Note: If you have circle templates you may be able to find the sizes needed.

 

 

Draw the 4-1/2 diameter circles, then center the 3-1/2 circles inside. Draw the center lines, position the heart shape and draw around it.

b-val-15aSquiggle stitch close to the outer line. This will keep the layers together when you finish the edges.

Quilt the feathered heart in the same way you quilted the square one, keeping the tops of the feathers even with the 3-1/2 inch diameter drawn line.

 


Make as many of the square and /or circle Mug Rugs on your fabric as you want. Because I used the Crayola Washable Markers, I had to wash my finished “quilt” in warm water with detergent – to remove the marker –  before cutting the Mug Rugs apart and finishing them.

b-val-01aI finished the edges of the circle Mug Rugs with a Satin Stitch and then trimmed the excess fabric close to the Satin Stitching. If you have some, you might want to put some water soluble or tear away embroidery stabilizer under the circle Mug Rug before Satin Stitching. This sometimes helps keep the curved (bias) edges from stretching. I also ran a line of Fray Check along the edge of the Satin Stitching. This will keep the fabrics from fraying and will keep the Satin Stitching from coming apart.

On one circle Mug Rug I experimented with putting a turned “facing” on the back. If you want to do this, that is fine. I felt it was a little too “fiddly” for me.

I put “regular” quilt binding on the square Mug Rugs and stitched everything in place with my home sewing machine.


val-23  b-val-24When I got finished quilting my square and circle Mug Rugs, I realized that I had a bunch of un-quilted fabric, especially around the circle shapes. So I did some quilting in this area with a Ribbon Stipple.

In the un-quilted area at the bottom of my fabrics, I did  Spiral Squares. I’m not quite sure what I am going to do with this new quilted fabric, but I’m sure I will think of something! More Mug Rugs maybe???

I hope you have fun making some of these Mug Rugs for Valentine’s Day, or any holiday or special occasion.

If you make any Mug Rugs, please send some photos and I’ll post them here.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

 

 

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